US Stock Indexes Veer Lower in Afternoon Trading; Oil Up

(AP) -
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

U.S. stock indexes were headed for a lower close in late-afternoon trading Monday, pulled down by drug companies and other health-care sector stocks. The pullback came as investors took profits off the back of record highs last week. Energy stocks were among the biggest gainers as oil prices rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,504 as of 2:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,178. The Nasdaq composite index lost 17 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,203.

THE QUOTE: The dip in the markets likely reflects traders selling in the wake of the record highs set by the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq on Friday, said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“It’s a little bit of profit-taking,” he said. “We’re coming off a good employment number and we know the consumer’s been strong.”

DEEPER SLIDE: Shares in Bristol-Myers Squibb were hammered again Monday after plunging on Friday following news that the drugmaker’s cancer treatment Opdivo failed in a study aimed at extending its usage for lung cancer patients. The stock lost $3.01, or 4.8 percent, to $60.27.

DASHED EXPECTATIONS: Allergan slid 3 percent after the Botox-maker’s second-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. The stock lost $7.62 to $246.23.

ONLINE PLAY: Wal-Mart Stores slipped 0.6 percent after the retail giant agreed to buy fast-growing online retail newcomer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash and another $300 million in stock. The deal underscores how serious Wal-Mart is about challenging online leader Amazon. Shares in Wal-Mart shed 44 cents to $73.32.

PUMPED: Several oil and natural gas companies were moving higher. Marathon Oil gained 54 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $14.41, while Tesoro added $3, or 4 percent, to $77.71. Cabot Oil & Gas rose 93 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $25.47.

COMFORTABLE POSITION: Mattress Firm vaulted more than twofold after the mattress retailer agreed to be acquired by furniture seller Steinhoff International in a deal valued at $3.8 billion, including debt. The stock gained $33.98 to $63.72.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent after government figures showed that industrial production posted a better-than-anticipated gain in June. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent, while Britain’s FTSE 100 index added 0.2 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Markets in Asia moved mostly higher despite a report showing China’s exports fell again in July, while a decline in imports accelerated. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.4 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4 percent, while Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent. India’s Sensex added 0.2 percent. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand also rose, while Singapore declined.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up $1.55, or 3.7 percent, at $43.35 per barrel in New York. The contract shed 13 cents on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up $1.41, or 3.2 percent, at $45.68 per barrel in London. It lost 2 cents on Friday.

METALS: The price of gold fell $3.10, or 0.2 percent, to $1,341.80 an ounce. Silver dipped 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.78 an ounce. Copper added a penny, or 0.4 percent, to $2.16 a pound.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.58 percent from 1.59 late Friday. In currency markets, the dollar rose to 102.49 yen from Friday’s 101.75 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1082 from $1.1091.